The Metro Manila Development Authority said Thursday it will enforce the ban on provincial buses along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue starting Aug. 15 to ease the gridlock in the area.
“We are pushing through with the provincial bus ban starting August 15, but only during rush hours,” said MMDA general manager Jose Arturo Garcia Jr. during an inspection of the Valenzuela Interim Terminal.
In other developments:
Senator Grace Poe on Thursday warned the MMDA against hastily implementing a scheme banning single-passenger cars on Edsa during rush hours.
Poe, who heads the Senate committee on public services, said the MMDA, in coordination with the local governments in the metropolis, should conduct a dry run and study and publish a clear set of guidelines before implementing the plan.
“This should not be done in haste. There can perhaps be a one day to know what will happen and then conduct a hearing the following day,” Poe told reporters.
“Let us first have a trial period and let us see the effects.”
• The Inter-agency Council for Traffic or I-ACT on Thursday sought the help of stakeholders to end the worsening traffic along Ortigas in Greenhills in San Juan City.
The Council made the appeal two weeks after it started implementing traffic mitigating measures in the area.
Garcia said the buses coming from the north will end their route in Cubao in Quezon City while those coming from the south will end their route in Pasay City. Those without terminals in Pasay City may use the MMDA-operated Southwest Interim Provincial Terminal in Parañaque City.
The policy takes effect from 7 am to 10 am and from 6 pm to 9 pm from Monday to Friday. Violators will be fined P2,000.
Garcia said the five-hectare terminal in Valenzuela had yet to comply with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board standards, such as the installation of waiting sheds, comfort rooms, and walkways, among others before the provincial buses could fully use the terminal.
The provincial buses coming from the north may drop off their passengers inside the terminal on Paso de Blas Road. Metro Manila-bound passengers may transfer to city-operating buses that will take them to their destinations in Metro Manila.
Garcia led the terminal inspection with Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, Transportation assistant secretary Mark Richmund de Leon, LTFRB chief for Transportation Development Joel Bolano, and other MMDA officials.
Garcia said they envision the facility as an intermodal transport terminal that could provide interconnectivity of the different modes of transportation like provincial buses, city- operating buses, Asian utility vehicles, jeepneys and even tricycles.
The operation of the terminal will be at no cost to the government.
Gatchalian said the private owner of the terminal vowed to hasten the construction of its facilities for the safety and convenience of passengers.
He expressed optimism that the terminal could be part of the solution to address the traffic problems in the metropolis.
The traffic in Metro Manila causes an estimated productivity loss of about P2.4 billion a day or more than P800 billion a year.
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